What is another twenty years for 85-year old “M*A*S*H” star Alan Alda? The Hawkeye actor played the lead role on the wildly popular show from 1972 to 1983 and was still acting as recently as 2020. In an interview from 2012, he restated his desire to live until 106.
No one lives forever, but with a continued passion for his work and the right mindset, it’s not crazy to think that Alda could manage it. Of course, being in an advantageous financial position helps too. Further, there’s no telling what advances in modern medicine may be able to accomplish even a few short years from now.
If this all sounds reminiscent of Ricky Bobby’s immortal post-race words in “Talladega Nights,” that’s because it is. But hey, just because it was a goofy comedy doesn’t mean the Will Ferrell character didn’t have a point.
Obscure movie references aside, Alan Alda’s impact can’t be understated. As the lead character and sometimes writer on “M*A*S*H,” he entertained millions for more than a decade on one of the most groundbreaking TV shows in history. Beyond the hit show, the longevity of his career is the envy of aspiring actors everywhere.
In his 2007 book, Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, Alda recalled a time when he jokingly told a reporter that he wanted to live until he was 106 years old. And in a 2012 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the “M*A*S*H” star doubled down on his desire.
“I can’t drill into myself the idea that’s an absurd number. I actually believe that’s how long I’m going to go. I’m right on schedule!” Alda said.
The Statistics are Increasingly on the ‘M*A*S*H’ Star’s Side
When you consider that the United Nations expects nearly 600,000 new 100-year old members of the population in the next year, it really isn’t that absurd a number.
In fact, the number of centenarians (100+-year-old people) has reportedly multiplied by four since 1990. Who’s to say Alan Alda won’t be among this group?
The Time Alan Alda Got a New Lease on Life in the Mountains of Chile
Fans of “M*A*S*H” remember Hawkeye as the chief surgeon of the 4077th. Alan Alda himself didn’t come into the show with much medical background. But after 11 seasons playing a combat surgeon, the Hawkeye actor picked up a surprising amount of knowledge.
In fact, he actually shocked a Chilean doctor with his knowledge when he was evacuated from a mountain for emergency surgery on his intestines. He knew the exact procedure that needed to be done.
But his medical knowledge aside, the whole experience in Chile gave the “M*A*S*H” star a new perspective on his life. He knew that he very easily could have died there. And moving forward, he thought of it as his second birthday because it refreshed his lust for life.